Durham College launches new Honours Bachelor of Paralegal degree

As the scope of paralegals’ role has increased, so has the demand for their skills within the community. Durham College (DC) is proud to launch a new Honours Bachelor of Paralegal degree – one of only two four-year degree programs of its kind in Ontario – to improve access to affordable legal representation and expertise.

The program will prepare students with the legal context they need as well as the cultural competency lens to provide legal services to a wide range of diverse populations including immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples, women and people who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA+. To best serve their future clients, students will gain an in-depth understanding of human rights claims, disability applications, Immigration and Refugee Board hearings, criminal code offences involving those who have experienced inter-generational trauma and applications involving mental health, housing and financial stability issues.

“We’re providing advanced programs like the Honours Bachelor of Paralegal because we understand the needs of our growing community,” says Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “By combining in-depth classroom learning with an experiential field placement, graduates of this degree program will have the tools they need to be future leaders in the legal sector.”

Graduates of the program will be prepared to provide legal services under the supervision of a lawyer or a licensed paralegal and are also eligible to apply to become Licensed Paralegals themselves through the Law Society of Ontario. Licensed Paralegals can independently represent their clients before various courts and tribunals within their regulated scope of legal practice. They also have the ability to continue their education by applying to law school or graduate studies.

“The paralegal profession has grown in complexity in recent years, which is why Durham College is excited to launch the Honours Bachelor of Paralegal program,” says Dr. Elaine Popp, executive vice president, Academic. “The student experience and the impact graduates’ expertise has on members of the community are at the forefront of program development. The Honours Bachelor of Paralegal program will develop confident graduates who are well equipped to advance in the legal field.”

For more information about the Honours Bachelor of Paralegal, including registration details for next fall, visit www.durhamcollege.ca/hbpl.